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By Robert Balajadia
In being a college graduate from UOG with a Bachelors Degree in Communications/Journalism, I had to take a final research course which had me produce a 25-page research paper on my specific field of study towards the end of the 2013 Fall semester.
My desired profession was sports journalism so I decided to do my final research paper on how people from Guam choose a favorite national sports teams to root for. Many different factors had to be considered within the research, which was done gathering quantitative data of over 200 survey participants.
Over 58% of the survey takers were ages 18-25 and over 26% were 26-35. 14% were 35-49 and only 2% were over 50 years old.
Participants were given a choices on a Likert Scale to determine which factor played the biggest role in the team selection process. The questions asked were:
a) Favorite player plays/has played for the team.
b) Went to school in the state (college, high school, middle school) and team was integrated.
c) Inherited favorite team from parent/spouse/family member
d) Borrowed team name – meaning the individual used to play for a youth or recreational league that shared the same name as a national sports team.
e) Fan of the uniform colors
f) Favor the location – likes to vacation there or takes trips there often.
g) Movie Inspired – favorite movie was based on sports team (i.e. “Little Giants” favorite football team New York Giants.)
h) Fan of the logo or name
Of the given choices, the top three that drew the most percentage were “Favorite Player” “Schooling in State” and “Family Inherited.” There are more than one factors into choosing a favorite team and survey participants were asked to rate on a scale which is more relatable to them.
Family inheritance was hypothesized to be a large factor given the value of family on Guam. Spending time with family is one of the more cherished values of Guam and over 70% of survey participants agreed that watching national sports brings their family together.
Of the data collected, 57.% have had a favorite team 10+ years, 15.2% for at least seven years, 13.9% for at least five years, 11.4% for at least two years, and 2.5% have been fans of teams for less than a year. The results give claim that Guam fans are fairly loyal to their sports team which is no secret given Guam’s size.
Once you are branded as a fan of a favorite national sports team on Guam it more than likely sticks through out. More than 78% of fans of the survey disagreed with “band wagoning,” which means switching teams to root for based on their success.
A surprising statistic came when asking the fans of Guam if their favorite teams would switch if a professional team or professional athlete played in a specific sports team.
55% said they would stick with their current favorite sports team if Guam had been represented in the national sports scene and over 65% said a player from Guam would not influence them to change their favorite teams.
It was clear that the most popular national sport on Guam is American Football at 45.6% and 34.2% claiming basketball. Baseball finished with 13.9% and soccer and other sports made up the final 6%.
Individuals were asked to then mention their favorite sports team or favorite player which garnered these results.
Football – Guam is 49ers country. The championship runs in the 80’s were the breeding grounds for 49er fans on Guam as it was the most mentioned favorite team. Coming in second were the Oakland Raiders, who also had an era of success around the 80’s, and 3rd being the Pittsburgh Steelers. (The San Diego Chargers got a single vote. Just saying…..)
Basketball – The Showtime gang in the 80’s and dynasty that Kobe and Shaq built, which Kobe later added to, had the Lakers being considered the most voted team of all the sports. The second favorite team was surprising with the Miami Heat getting a slight edge over the Chicago Bulls, who was voted as the third favorite team. LeBron James over Michael Jordan? It sure seemed the survey participants voted that way…
Baseball – The New York Yankees got the top spot in the survey with the Boston Red Sox coming in second. The most famous rivalry in all of sports has yet another score to be settled on Guam with the Yankees edging the Sox. The St. Louis Cardinals are well represented on Guam with a bunch of local fans who answered “ST.LUIS CARDINALS!!!!!”
Top Five Athletes – The “Black Mamba” Kobe Bryant was the most recognized/voted athlete of the bunch. It seemed that fans of basketball are more of a players league while football is more team oriented with fans on Guam.
1) Kobe Bryant
2) LeBron James
3) Michael Jordan
4) Jerry Rice
5) Derek Jeter
GPS Sports Calendar